Let's reconsider the way brands connect.
GOOD WITH STYLE is a boutique consultancy that helps brands build impactful communications and community through promoting social good.
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I am motivated by a passion for storytelling, a deep interest in conscious consumption and a strong belief in business as a force for good.
Over the years, I have come to believe that social good marketing needs to articulate the positive brand message in a way that makes sense to the consumer.
My background is in brand management, product development, consumer research, digital transformation, and interactive marketing.
Over the past decade, I have approached the social impact space as a consumer advocate. As a journalist, entrepreneur, Fortune 500 companies, and now as a consultant.
I spent several years managing brands for Donna Karan New York, (an $8B apparel conglomerate with brands including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Speedo) and have worked on sustainability initiatives with BRIDES Magazine, West Elm, CBS Early Show, Ebay, Etsy, P&G, Scott Naturals, Estee Lauder. Previously, I founded a social enterprise selling coffee in Costa Rica; led Content and Community for iVillage, and worked as a freelance sustainable living writer for multiple publications.
Some organizations I've worked with.(logos)
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How can your organization do well by doing good? It starts with a strong strategy for embedding social responsibility throughout. My interdisciplinary approach incorporates shared value, systems thinking, human-centered designand Theory of Change frameworks.
How we can work together:
- Strategic framework development
- Impact measurement
- Trends analysis and benchmarking
- Innovation management
- Project management
How do you share your social impact story in a way that’s engaging, authentic and true to your brand? As a former journalist, I take an evidence-based approach that is informed by insights from cognitive psychology, behavioral economics and other disciplines.
How we can work together:
- Communications strategy
- Creative concept development and execution
- Content creation (copywriting, presentation design, data visualization)
- Digital marketing (email marketing, social media)
- Corporate responsibility reporting (GRI G4)
Social change doesn’t happen in a bubble. How do you build community around social responsibility initiatives and unite like-minded people and organizations around a common goal? I start by thinking about what drives and motivates people.
How we can work together:
- Stakeholder engagement
- Employee engagement
- Training and education
- Strategic partnerships
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BUSINESS AT ITS BEST
“Shared value is not social responsibility, philanthropy, or sustainability, but a new way for companies to achieve economic success.” Michael E. Porter and Mark Kramer, “Creating Shared Value,” Harvard Business Review
Shared value is a management strategy in which companies find business opportunities in social problems. While philanthropy and CSR focus efforts focus on “giving back” or minimizing the harm business has on society, shared value focuses company leaders on maximizing the competitive value of solving social problems in new customers and markets, cost savings, talent retention, and more.
More companies are now building and rebuilding business models around social good, which sets them apart from the competition and augments their success. With the help of NGOs, governments, and other stakeholders, business has the power of scale to create real change on monumental social problems.
System. We hear and use the word all the time. “There’s no sense in trying to buck the system,” we might say. Or, “This job’s getting out of control, I’ve got to establish a system.” Whether you are aware of it or not, you are a member of many systems – a family, a community, a church, a company. You yourself are a complex biological system comprising many smaller systems. And every day, you probably interact with dozens of systems, such as automobiles, retail stores, the organization you work for, etc. But what exactly is a system? How would we know one if we saw one, and why is it important to understand systems? Most important, how can we manage our organizations more effectively by understanding systems?
This volume explores these questions and introduces the principles and practice of a quietly growing field: systems thinking. With roots in disciplines as varied as biology, cybernetics, and ecology, systems thinking provides a way of looking at how the world works that differs markedly from the traditional reductionistic, analytic view. Why is a systemic perspective an important complement to analytic thinking? One reason is that understanding how systems work – and how we play a role in them – lets us function more effectively and proactively within them. The more we understand systemic behavior, the more we can anticipate that behavior and work with systems (rather than being controlled by them) to shape the quality of our lives.
It’s been said that systems thinking is one of the key management competencies for the 21st century. As our world becomes ever more tightly interwoven globally and as the pace of change continues to increase, we will all need to become increasingly “system-wise.” This volume gives you the language and tools you need to start applying systems thinking principles and practices in your own organization.
What is Human-Centered Design?
Human-centered design is a creative approach to problem solving and the backbone of our work at IDEO.org. It’s a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor made to suit their needs. Human-centered design is all about building a deep empathy with the people you’re designing for; generating tons of ideas; building a bunch of prototypes; sharing what you’ve made with the people you’re designing for; and eventually putting your innovative new solution out in the world.
Human-centered design consists of three phases. In the Inspiration Phase you’ll learn directly from the people you’re designing for as you immerse yourself in their lives and come to deeply understand their needs. In the Ideation Phase you’ll make sense of what you learned, identify opportunities for design, and prototype possible solutions. And in the Implementation Phase you’ll bring your solution to life, and eventually, to market. And you’ll know that your solution will be a success because you’ve kept the very people you’re looking to serve at the heart of the process.
THEORY OF CHANGE
Theory of Change is essentially a comprehensive description and illustration of how and why a desired change is expected to happen in a particular context. It is focused in particular on mapping out or “filling in” what has been described as the “missing middle” between what a program or change initiative does (its activities or interventions) and how these lead to desired goals being achieved. It does this by first identifying the desired long-term goals and then works back from these to identify all the conditions (outcomes) that must be in place (and how these related to one another causally) for the goals to occur. These are all mapped out in an Outcomes Framework.
A Human-Centered Take on Early Childhood Development
Advances in neuroscience and child development confirm what many educators have long believed: Children’s readiness for kindergarten (and life beyond) hinges on positive engagement with their parents and caregivers during the first five years of their lives. This is the most active period for brain development—children’s brains form new connections at a rate of 700 synapses per second. But as a society, we underinvest in children and families during the earliest years, leaving far too much opportunity on the table. For low-income parents, who may have lacked good models themselves and feel judged or blamed, much of the parenting advice is unattainable. The Bezos Family Foundation and IDEO.org set out to activate engagement through new tools and messages, and to broaden the prescription beyond commonly heard (but not uniformly embraced) directives about reading to children. Could there be a way to communicate brain science directly to parents in ways that positively influence behavior, and raises the value of all forms of positive interaction with babies and toddlers?
After extensive interviews with parents, child development experts, and pediatricians around the country, the team developed a large-scale messaging campaign celebrating everyday moments as learning opportunities. Whether sitting in the laundromat or shopping at the supermarket, the fundamental message was that taking advantage of the many chances to engage with a child strengthens the foundation of that child’s brain development. The Bezos Family Foundation built upon our design team’s key insights, further developed them, and in the spring of 2014, launched Vroom. Vroom advocates for the time parents do have and using it in different ways to help build their kids’ brains.
The IDEO.org team undertook a highly immersive inspiration phase, visiting low-income communities in California, New York, and Pennsylvania to conduct interviews with parents and to observe existing programs aimed at improving child development outcomes. The team learned that many of the parents they met had had very tough upbringings. These parents didn’t feel fully equipped to engage with their children, because their own parents didn’t engage with them. One of the most successful programs the team witnessed during their research was one in which nurses went into people’s homes for several hours each week simply to play with the children in front of the parents. By modeling play, they were able to affect behavior change and shift the parent-child dynamic.
Interviews with child development experts and pediatricians tended to reinforce the direct findings: If parenting advice is limited to reading books, those who don’t feel comfortable reading aloud may forego all forms of engagement. One pediatrician in New York argued outright that playing, talking to, and responding to children reading trumps reading.
When field research was complete, the team returned to San Francisco to synthesize its findings and look for patterns among the interviews. As they synthesized everything they learned, the team began to formulate a voice, identity, and set of design principles for the campaign.They came to some core principles that still guide Vroom today, ideas like Speak in the voice of their peers, Withhold Judgment, and All parents want to be good parents.
The team came up with a series of personas, each of them representing a woman from the communities being served, then invited mothers to the office to review mood boards, listen to sample voices, and provide feedback on which character they’d trust for advice on child-rearing.
From this feedback period, the team discovered that most parents, though they weren’t drawn to an academic approach to engaging their children, were very interested in the science behind behavior and brain development. Through a host of interviews, the team heard parents talking about a eureka moment after meeting with a neurologist who explained how the science worked. It was a revelation that had a big impact on how they saw their role in bringing up their child.
By the end of the Inspiration and Ideation phases, the IDEO.org team had created a strong, well-defined creative brief that could be handed to an advertising agency and used as the foundation for a major campaign. They came up with provocations and prompts for people to play with their kids as well as an advertising strategy that included guerrilla interventions displayed in laundromats instead of on big billboards. After another couple years of refinement and more design work, the Bezos Family Foundation launched the pilot of Vroom in 2014 in King County in Washington State.
There’s no better way to understand the people you’re designing for than by immersing yourself in their lives and communities.
Often designers find themselves working on behalf of communities that are quite different from them. That’s why Immersion, and the empathy it so often creates, is so critical to the human-centered design process. This project was an awesome exercise in empathy as the designers checked their biases and experiences at the door to fully and openly engage with these low-income parents. For some, it took an extra level of letting go of preconceptions about how a person should parent and required the team to defer judgment to a level they’d never had to do before.
To the delight of the individual team members and to the benefit of the project, this approach eventually led to open doors in the participating communities. By immersing in the neighborhoods and communities they were looking to serve, the team established trust with a group of individuals and then those people then told their neighbors and referred friends, creating the critical mass necessary for understanding the audience and building the right brand voice.